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The best independent coffee shops in Surrey

By Sara Hardy– 27th November 2020

A chat with a friend over a warm cup of something is just one of the little pleasures that has been restricted over the course of this year. Even the briefest moment of socially distanced human interaction is something we all crave and has been a lifeline for many. This piece celebrates the individuality and personalities behind some of our county’s glorious independent cafés. Naturally, the coffee matters, but the experience and making those wonderful memories are more important than ever.

The hospitality industry has been hit hard, but those who have gone above and beyond to stay open or invested heavily in becoming Covid secure, have become the pillars of our society.

I have showcased a selection but this is by no means an exhaustive list, rather more for you to share and reference in future. Local knowledge is second to none and I would be delighted for you to share your stories and experiences through my Instagram page.

If you are planning a visit to any of these establishments, do check their websites beforehand for the current opening hours, and do ensure that all social distancing guidelines are adhered to so we can keep these businesses thriving.

Coffee shops in Banstead

Café Chai is a haven of super stylish tranquility nestled in the heart of Banstead. Having opened at the beginning of the year, this family run business is only just getting started. It already has a loyal following from locals, and it is not difficult to see why. With many sumptuous treats and new festive additions to their menu, do not delay and book today! Café Chai is open for takeaway during lockdown and in addition, they have asked the public to nominate someone who is lonely during this difficult time so they can deliver “A cup of comfort Chai” and cake to their doorstep each Friday; bringing the community together with this wonderful act of kindness.


Coffee shops in Caterham 

East Side Deli. Mark and Julie are immensely proud to champion the best of locally sourced produce across their award-winning selection of delicatessen. Their online shop offers ample ideas for those looking to give something a little different this Christmas. However, their impeccably served fair trade coffees come highly recommended for their excellence and a visit to their Caterham store is a must for all coffee lovers. East Side Deli are open for click and collect and local deliveries during lockdown.


Coffee shops in Chobham

Basil and Blue. Winner of the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2019 Best Cafe & Best Newcomer in Surrey, it is unsurprising that Basil and Blue is one of Chobham’s most popular coffee shops. Its warm, cosy interior invites you in for a selection of delicious treats, great coffee and great hospitality. Vonnie and her team have really grown and established their roots in the community and have many regulars. A total must visit! I am delighted that Basil and Blue are open for takeaway during lockdown.


Coffee shops in Cranleigh

Cromwell’s Coffee House can be found in the heart of the charming village of Cranleigh. With plenty of outdoor seating on the patio adorned with flowers and Virginia creepers hugging the walls of this 16th century cottage, it is full to bursting with quintessentially English charm. It has an excellent and varied menu making it is a truly magnificent place to stop for a bite to eat. Unfortunately we have to wait a little longer before we can go back to Cronwell’s as they remain closed due to the current restrictions.


Coffee shops in East Grinstead

The Mug Tree is an incredibly sweet family run tearoom in East Grinstead which has an inviting interior with blue and white pastel hues. They offer barista coffee and afternoon tea with a variety of edible treats. The perfect spot to have a little quiet time and watch the world go by! We might not be able to stop there right now, but The Mug Tree is still open for collection and delivery so you can enjoy some of their delights at home.


Coffee shops in Haslemere

Hemmingway’s is a quirky and eclectic mix of old and new which harmoniously create a perfect blend of relaxation and sophistication. As both a café and a gift shop offering whimsical and unique gifts and homewares, the wonderful experience at Hemmingway’s is something that has taken the hearts of many who visit. Unfortunately Hemmingway’s is closed during lockdown but I’m excited to go back when restrictions ease.


Coffee shops in Horsell

Deli Class Is a true celebration of Italian hospitality located on bustling Horsell high street. The shop is adorned with Italian produce; the stunning panettone display is a feast of the eyes at Christmas time. Dom and Filippa will welcome you as though you are part of the family! Deli Class is open for takeaway during lockdown, and their deli platters and food store goods can also be purchased via their online store.

Heather Farm Café sits in a privileged position within the Horsell Common Wetlands centre. With ample family friendly outside seating (some of which is covered by an awning), a safe environment for children to play and a choice of walks varying in length, be sure to incorporate a warming cup of something and a slice of cake into your next visit. Heather Farm remains Café remains open for takeaway so you can wrap your hands around a hot drink as you set off on your walk.

The Horsell Kitchen. Not only does this beautifully light and welcoming café serve you coffee from one of Guildford’s finest roasteries (Redber Coffee) but Joanna and John offer you a healthy and interesting mix of sweet and savoury plates for your pleasure. They have developed their café service to keep with the times by creating a cook at home range, takeaway platters and even a dinner party in a box should you wish. They are proud to bring their kitchen to ours. Joanna and John are still taking orders for afternoon teas / brunch boxes / grazing platters etc which can be collected by arrangement or delivered to you. They will be continuously cooking their oven-ready meals which will be advertised on  social media. Look out for their supper club offers too.

Kiwi and Scot. This beautiful mobile coffee shop adorned with vintage lights and flowers really knows how to pack a punch when it comes to the good stuff! Recommended by many of my social media followers for its excellence and friendly baristas, Kiwi and Scot is a must for anyone strolling along the Basingstoke Canal. Their hot chocolates are absolutely impossible to turn down too! I’m delighted to report that this canal side “must visit” is very much open throughout lock down.


Coffee shops in Godalming

Café Mila. For those seeking a little sanctuary from this difficult year, one of a kind Café Mila is the place for you. Combining a calming yoga studio and a beautiful airy café, they delight in helping you to feel happier and healthier and to find the right balance of exercise, nutrition and rest. Café Mila are open for takeaway and home delivery.

Waffles and Stuff is a quaint little coffee van with a huge personality. The waffles will grab the attention of any passer-by and their coffee is superb. Located in the car park near Broadwater lake, a stop here will make your outdoor adventure complete. Cherylin and Ivan are delighted to remain open during the lockdown.


Coffee shops in Godstone

The Green Rooms of Godstone. Sylvia and Jeremy bring you a touch of fun and a hint of quirky in their gorgeous tearoom in Godstone. They offer delicious food and a warm friendly atmosphere making this a most enjoyable place to be. They are offering home delivery with a minimum delivery order if not a nominal delivery fee so you can ensure you get their delicious food and cakes bought to you! This will be available Friday 5-8pm and Saturday and Sunday 10-4.


Coffee shops in Bookham 

Carolina’s is stylish and independent coffee shop in Great Bookham. This family run café promises you a wonderful experience from the moment you arrive, from great service to tasty homemade treats. It is definitely one to try, enjoy and share with friends. Carolina’s are still offering sunshine in a cup for takeaway drinks, breakfasts and light lunches. Do make sure you phone your orders through before hand.


Coffee shops in Guildford

Amor Amora. With a distinctly minimal aesthetic, this epicurean café will appeal to those who enjoy the quality of fresh, organic or locally sourced produce from artisan suppliers. You will find this hidden gem of an Art café at the top of the high street within one of Guildford’s beautiful historical buildings. You can order through the FaceTime link on their website for takeaway.

Koja is an absolute haven for coffee lovers! With beans freshly roasted just a short drive away in the Surrey Hills by Surrey Hills Coffee, it is no surprise that it tastes even better than it sounds. Wrap your hands around a warming cup and feel enlivened with their tasty offerings, a total crowd pleaser! Koja are open for takeaway as usual during lockdown.

Krema is an independent artisan coffee house located near the grounds of Guildford Castle. With speciality coffee, loose-leaf tea and great tasting food, a stop here is always a good idea before you take a relaxing stroll through the castles’ gardens. Unfortunately Krema is temporarily closed due to the lockdown.


Coffee shops in Shere / Albury

The Dabbling Duck and The Plucky Pheasant. Mums Cathy and Christina have perfected the art of cosy café lifestyle to the point it becomes rather difficult to drag yourself away from their rustic styled eateries! Curled up on a vintage sofa with a warm cup of something and a slice of something nice makes both of these charming cafés a very popular place to be. The Dabbling Duck in the picture-perfect village of Shere offers plenty of outside seating together with a heated yurt, and The Plucky Pheasant at Newlands Corner in Albury also has ample seating under an awning with incredible views of the rolling Surrey Hills. A warm reception awaits you in both! Very sadly, both have been temporarily closed but as my regular hangouts I truly look forward to giving them my full support once again in future.

Shere delights. Set on the banks of the River Tillingbourne, Shere delights is a brilliantly fun place to stop for a coffee or sweet treat. The shelves are adorned with a bright array of colour; retro sweets, beautiful hampers, sweet treats and of course sumptuous coffee are the order of the day here. It is impossible for children and adults alike not to feel excited in this glorious little shop. Do check out their sister shop in Godalming too! The shop is currently closed due to to lockdown but sweet treats can be purchased online via their website.


Coffee shops in St Johns

Bem coffee is a stylish café and stands as a pillar of the community within the village of St Johns. Encompassing a friendly and relaxed atmosphere together with the finest blend coffee from Brazil and El Salvador, this is an extremely pleasant place to spend your time. Bem coffee are open for takeaway during the lockdown with revised opening hours.

Two Ducks Lifestyle has an equally important standing in the community. Not only are their shelves filled with unique and carefully curated gift collections, but they offer gourmet coffee and cake with a welcoming ear. Claire and her team are so kind that a customer recently took to Instagram to thank her for notably lifting her spirits during a visiting. There is no greater feeling than making a difference to someone’s day. Two Ducks are open for online orders, takeaway and collection during lockdown.


Coffee shops in Ripley

Nest Home and Café is an impeccably beautiful lifestyle café and shop with an incredible selection of delicate tableware and gifts. Deborah, Nest’s owner, is immensely proud of the coffee service that they offer and takes it very seriously. She only uses coffee beans imported from one of the world’s finest suppliers in Venice (which also supplies Harrods) and her staff have been trained by some of the most talented baristas in the world.  The standard of the coffee is absolutely faultless here. Nest is open for takeaways so their is no need to go without your favourite coffee.

Pinnocks sits proudly on Ripley high street within an impossibly beautiful building that is as charming inside as it is out. The exposed beams and cosy corners invite you in and you will not be in a hurry to leave. With an impressive array of sweet and savoury treats together with sumptuous coffee it is the perfect place to warm up on a cold winters’ day. They also have a number of outdoor tables should you prefer.


Coffee shops in Reigate

Cullenders is a café, bar and restaurant that offers a tasty mix of cuisine throughout the day. Their coffee is exquisite, and their sweet treats are rather moreish. Their lunch and dinner offerings are truly divine (and their espresso martinis are too hard to decline!). The interior is relaxed, chic and the perfect place to spend an hour or two. Cullenders remain open for takeaway during lockdown.



Sara x


This is a Girl About recommendation. This means that it was not gifted in return for a review. We only recommend places we absolutely love, and places that we know you’ll love too!

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